X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Ahhh, Wolverine. You had the opportunity to be so ridiculously, hilariously, entertainingly stupid, and for some reason, you opted to be tediously, monotonously, and tiresomely stupid. I could forgive you for so many things—I was prepared to forgive you for so many things. But I cannot and will not forgive you for boring the shit out of me. 

wolverine poster by you.

Wolverine opens in 1845 in the Northwest Territories of Canada, where we meet little James Logan, a pint-sized Wolverine who deals with some family dramz and accidentally claws the wrong dad. He’s quite the melodramatic little mutant—we can tell he’s definitely going to grow up into the broody guilt-pile of hotness we know and love from the original X-Men movies.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine  by you.

wolverine by you.

Hugh Jackman really embraces the yelling-as-acting method in this movie. I generally think he’s a pretty great actor, and granted, they didn’t give him much to work with here, but seriously, Hugh:

THIS

X-MEN Origins: Wolverine by you.

IS NOT

X-MEN Origins: Wolverine by you.

ACTING!

yelly by you.

He and his half-brother Victor, the latent Sabretooth played in an equally yelly manner by Liev Schreiber, then embark on a credits-long sequence of fighting in the Civil War, both World Wars, and Vietnam, using their regenerative powers to survive through the decades. Victor grows increasingly violent and wrathful throughout the montage. This “war” footage actually is hilariously stupid, which unfairly raised my hopes that the rest of the movie might be so bafflingly enjoyable. It was not.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Eventually Victor and James are recruited by Danny Huston’s Colonel Stryker to join Team X, a group of mutants who use their powers to aid government missions. Huston does a great job with this role; he’s stern and intense and displays profound complexity in his feelings for mutantkind. See, I give credit where credit’s due! Particularly when it’s the ONLY credit due. Stryker’s already recruited such familiar Marvel faces as the teleporting John Wraith (a terrible Will.i.am):

will by you.

electricity-controlling Bolt/Chris Bradley (Dominic Monaghan, kind of charmingly useless in this role):

bolt by you.

Kevin Durand’s invulnerable and mega strong Fred Dukes, who gets a guilt-induced eating disorder (?!?!) and a worse fat suit than Monica on Friends to become the Blob:

fred by you.

awesome shot Agent Zero (Daniel Henney):

X-Men Orgins: Wolverine by you.

and loud-mouthed sword expert Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds—who is incredibly hot and likable and should have had far more screentime in this movie:

XMOW-268 by you.

See what I mean?

After only one mission, James is squeamish about the kill-happy M.O. of Team X and he splits. Years later, he’s going by his last name, Logan, and living as a lumberjack with the lovely Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins):

kayla by you.

Kayla tells him a nauseating and unlikely legend about the lady moon and her lover named Wolverine, all very faux Native American, and whatever, she dies, and he takes the name Wolverine and allows Stryker to reinforce his skeleton with the indestructible adamantium so he has the means to avenge her death.

wolverine 3 by you.

Also his claws look SO FAKE. It’s seriously distracting. Look at this!

fake claws by you.

Now look at these far more realistic claws, from X2, made six years ago:

x-2

Why?

Wolvy gathers that Stryker’s planning to erase his memories after the procedure, so he splits again and the movie trudges along as he swears vengeance and gets cute little old people killed, steals motorcycles and explodes helicopters (okay, that part was pretty cool). And then finally he journeys to the incredibly fake “New Orleans” to meet telekinetic Remy LeBeau/Gambit, played insanely sexily by Taylor Kitsch:

gambit by you.

And all of a sudden, I perk up! True, Gambit’s always been one  of my favorite X-Men and I’ve been DYING to see him portrayed on film, but hello! I had NO IDEA how gorgeous this Taylor Kitsch is! Sarah and Erin, you have my sincerest apologies for not IMMEDIATELY watching Friday Night Lights upon your urgent recommendations. I shall remedy that little oversight immediately. BECAUSE:

gambit 3 by you.

AND ALSO:

 X-Men Origins: Wolverine

AND WHAT ABOUT?!

gambit 5

Eventually we discover, as anyone well-versed in the X-Men universe already knows, that Stryker is diabolically kidnapping and collecting cute little mutants such as Cyclops and Emma Frost at his base on Three Mile Island…

X-Men Origins: Wolverine  by you.

…and it’s up to Wolverine to save them—plus fight his brother and kill Wade’s new persona Deadpool and also rescue Kayla’s sister and a dozen other little plot tidbits, none of which held my interest in the slightest. Also, don’t get too excited about Emma Frost; you will be sorely disappointed, as I was. She’s not telepathic, sexually predatory, fiendishly flirtatious or morally complex. She’s just diamondy, and that, like so much else in this movie, looks retarded.

emma by you.

Good points: there’s a fair amount of angry broYay in this movie—always an entertaining thing:

broyay

X-MEN Origins: Wolverine

 X-Men Origins: Wolverine

In fact all the fighting is pretty hot and homoerotic. My notes read: “Dear Wolverine and Gambit, plz stop fighting each other and start making out. Thx.”

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

GET HIM, GAMBIT! I’m on Team Sexy!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes itself far too seriously. How does this movie not realize how dumb it is? Director Gavin Hood should have taken further advantage of the film’s strengths, rather than making its many weaknesses the central focus of the movie. To wit, less painfully overwrought dialogue, maudlin acting and absurd plot contrivances…and more of THIS:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

wolverine-y

rr

taylor kitsch

Okay, you got me, that last one wasn’t from Wolverine, I just really wanted to include it. My point is, when you have a cast chock full of sexy stud-muffins, it shouldn’t matter so much that your movie is utterly preposterous! AND YET.

The problem with Wolverine is that no one will be satisfied with it: fans of the comic book will be resentful of the many liberties writers David Benioff and Skip Woods took with X-Men canon; non-fans just won’t give a shit. Give this one a pass, guys.

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5 Responses to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”

  1. meredith, i most definitely accept yr apology, esp. since you managed to fit in several SMOKIN’ HOT pictures of tim riggins, my future husband/boy toy.

    i know his real name is taylor but i don’t care.

    i agree with this entire review. more ryan reynolds, less bad CGI.

    what i’d REALLY like to see is a film adaptation of astonishing x-men, preferably done by joss himself. and also featuring gambit. thank you.

  2. xymarla Says:

    Sarah, I was thinking that same thing! The Astonishing series is such a good storyline! THAT’S Emma Frost done right.

  3. haha lol yeah
    more GAMBIT ASAP

  4. I really wish this movie had been better too. It just never seemed to get the tone right or get going at all. I was a bit bored. Which is hard to do after you’ve had two margaritas at Chipotle. Those things are strong so you would think I’d enjoy watching Hanna Montana at that point. I even tried the no/low expectations approach. Didn’t work. I do agree with you on the good points you mentioned. Gambit was awesome. Always one of my favs. I think if they made an Astonishing version, it would be totally awesome. I’m with you ladies.

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